Hospitals are a perfect business for adopting solar panels as they consume vast amounts of electricity throughout the day and night and tend to have adequate roof space available for the installations. Hospitals can never rely only solely on solar power as they must have a back up energy source in case there is a problem, currently for traditional electricity powered hospitals this tends to be back-up generators.
Photovoltaic solar panels work well as an alternative energy source for hospitals. They work by absorbing energy from the sun and converting this into an electrical current that can be used to power the hospital. The more daylight exposure the panels receive the more effective they will be, so they must be placed in an un-shaded area within 90 degrees of south.
Solar Panels can help hospitals save money, but also over a period of time make money. The savings come from being able to use the electricity generated to power the hospital, this can make substantial cuts to the hospital's energy bills. The profit can come from taking advantage of the feed-in tariff scheme. This is a scheme backed by the government where businesses (and households) get paid a fee for every kW of energy they generate and additional bonus payments for sending electricity to the grid for the energy suppliers to use. This scheme is guaranteed for 25 years making it possible for businesses to plan for a return on their investment in the solar installation.
Many hospitals have started to turn to solar energy as one of their sources of power, a great example of this is at the Stratford and Warwick Hospitals.
Many more hospitals are expected to follow suit and install photovoltaic solar panels as a secondary source of power for the hospital. This is not only going to help the hospitals save money but it is also helping reduce the carbon footprint of the UK's hospitals.